PHILADELPHIA -- Those who think there is no risk of the Eagles falling into a trap game against the Vikings in December should go back to 2010, when the Eagles fell into a trap game against the Vikings in December.
The Eagles were 10-4. Michael Vick was six weeks removed from his epic Monday night performance at Washington. DeSean Jackson was six days removed from his final-second, game-winning punt return against the Giants at the Meadowlands. It looked and felt as if Andy Reid had regained the touch that got the Eagles to five conference championship games.
And then an impending blizzard prompted the NFL to postpone the game from the day after Christmas until Tuesday, Dec. 28. And then the Vikings, with wide receiver Joe Webb playing quarterback, came to Lincoln Financial Field. They blitzed Vick relentlessly, sacking him six times and forcing him to fumble the ball away once and throw an interception.
The Vikings won 24-14. The Eagles lost in Dallas the next week and then lost a home playoff game against Green Bay. In many ways, that game against the Vikings marked the beginning of the end of Reid’s tenure in Philadelphia.
The current Eagles are near the beginning of an era, not the end. First-year coach Chip Kelly said he hadn’t experienced a team of his overlooking a lesser opponent.
“I think it happens,” Kelly said. “But I've only been a head coach for a short time too. I was four years at Oregon. This is my first season here.”
Kelly believes his “one-week season” approach should keep his players focused on the Vikings and not the chance to clinch the NFC East title against Chicago or Dallas over the following two weeks.
But the truth is, Reid was every bit as committed to the one-week-at-a-time approach. There isn’t a coach anywhere who preaches taking them two at a time.